If You Know Your Latin at Vatican ATM’s, Dominus Providebit

Vatican Automatic Teller Machines in Latin Institute for the Works of Religion

The Vatican Bank (officially known as the Institute for the Works of Religion) is the only bank in the world that allows the user to select “Latin” as the language of choice.

Dominus providebit — the Lord will provide.

 

The Getty Kidnapping: How Much is a Grandson’s Life Worth?

 

Jean Paul Getty refused ransom demand for grandson

Jean Paul Getty (1892-1976) was one of the wealthiest man in the world. In 1966 the Guinness Book of Records named him as the wealthiest man on the planet with a fortune of $1.2 billion ($9.1 billion in 2017). He earned his fortune in the oil business, and in 1996 The Wealthy 100 ranked him as the 67th richest American who ever lived. Continue reading

Benjamin Franklin and the Bequest Made From a Dare

Benjamin Franklin compound interest

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) has been credited with calling compound interest the eighth wonder of the world. Whether he actually said that is a matter of debate, but the fact that he believed it is undisputed. Continue reading

The Coin of the Realm — and Something Extra

Mongolia talking JFK 500 coin Palau holy water silver dollar
₮500 Mongolian coin (upper right) and the $1 Palau silver dollar (lower left)

Everyone likes money because of the value it has in itself. Coin collectors like certain kinds of money because of its rarity or historical value. Every once in a while currency comes around that is just plain fun.

In 2007 the nation of Mongolia chose to honor US President John F. Kennedy because of his role in the creation of the Peace Corps. The government produced a limited edition ₮500 coin (five hundred Tugrik is worth approximately 20¢ in US dollars) with JFK’s image and a tiny button that, when pressed, plays a recording of Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech.

The next year the Pacific island nation of Palau chose to honor the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes with a special edition silver dollar. Each of the dollars contains a tiny vial of holy water from Lourdes, France.

Tooth Fairy Budget Grows by an Arm and a Leg

how much does the Tooth Fairy pay per tooth?

Where does the Tooth Fairy get all that money she leaves under children’s pillows? The original source of that wealth remains a mystery, but the evidence suggests that she keeps it invested in the U.S. stock market. Continue reading

The Ultimate Rental House Fixer-Upper

White House Truman renovation

As President Harry Truman’s daughter, Margaret, played the piano one day, she was startled as one leg of the piano suddenly dropped through the floor of the White House residential level. Engineers were called in to see what was going on, and the report was nothing short of alarming.

Continue reading

Somewhere Over the Rainbow Dogs Make a Lot of Money

How much did Toto earn in The Wizard of Oz

The smallest actor in the movie The Wizard of Oz was Dororthy’s dog, Toto. The tiny pooch did not draw the smallest salary, however.

Each of the actors who played the Munchkins earned a weekly salary of $50 for their talents. Toto walked away with $125 per week.